JOHANNESBURG – Tsogo Sun Holdings plans to build a desalination plant that will assist supply its Cape Town hotels with their own water, shielding guests of South Africa’s biggest hotel and casino operator from the city’s deepening water crisis.
The alternative source of water should be in operation for properties including the five-star Westin by early March at the latest, said Tsogo Chief Operating Officer Ravi Nadasen on Wednesday.
“There is a plan in place that all of the alternative water sources will come on board before Day Zero comes,” said Nadasen. “The current situation in Cape Town is going to become the new normal. We’ve got to be responsible as well.”
Africa’s biggest tourist destination is making drastic measures to keep water running as long as possible after a three-year long drought all but exhausted local reservoirs.
Residents of Cape Town have been urged to use water sparingly, with the daily allocation set at 50 litres per person, and hotel have removed bath plugs and urged visitors to keep toilet flushing to a minimum.
Tourists that visit the Cape Town area are estimated at 1.6 million per year, and spend about R40 billion according to South African Tourism. Industry body’s chief executive officer, Sisa Ntshona said co-operation between industry and government can ensure the tourism economy remains robust.
“South Africa cannot afford to lose confidence as a tourist destination,” Ntshona said.
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